[Note: Because this is such a controversial portion of Scripture, this post is the first of three projected, Lord willing, posts on these verses and what they actually teach.]
Apparently, these four words out of the 67 which make up vs. 4-6 (NKJV) are the only ones many people read. Having done so, they exclaim, “Aha, you can lose your salvation; the Bible says you can ‘fall away’.” Then they go on to berate the “devil’s doctrine of eternal security”.
Some of these folks say that they’ve been saved…several times.
Without getting into the discussion about whether or not the author is referring to “real” Christians, let’s just simply say that if the writer is saying that Christians can lose their salvation, he also says something else.
If you can lose it, it is impossible to get it back. The writer says of the people he describes in vs. 4-6, …it is impossible …, if they fall away, TO RENEW THEM AGAIN TO REPENTANCE,… (emphasis added).
In other words, THERE IS NO SAVED, THEN LOST, THEN SAVED AGAIN. Such a thing is impossible.
Why is it impossible to be saved, lost, and saved again?
It is impossible because of what it took to get us saved in the first place!!
If we can lose our salvation, then that means that all the things it took to get us saved in the first place DIDN’T WORK!!
We have such loose and fuzzy ideas about what the Lord Jesus did on the Cross that it’s a wonder anybody is saved at all. Current thinking seems to be that Jesus just made it possible for men and women to be saved; His death doesn’t actually accomplish anything until we ratify it by our “accepting” it. We “let” God save us. We’re the ones who actually make it happen.
Isn’t that the gist of what is taught in the majority of pulpits – if it’s taught at all, and not just some “self-help”, feel-good-about-yourself drivel?
However, the death of Christ actually paid the penalty for our sins. He satisfied God’s justice. Before that, He lived a life of perfect holiness and righteousness, which is imputed to those who believe on Him, because they have no such holiness and righteousness of their own. In order to be able to do that, He had to be born into this world. In order to do that, He had to lay aside the glory and majesty and power that was His as the Word and be conceived in the womb of a virgin so that He could live a sinless and holy life.
God raised Him from the dead to show that He was who He claimed to be – that is, the Son of God, and that He had indeed accomplished redemption for those whom He came to save.
The Holy Spirit takes what the Bible says about the work of the Son and uses it to bring a dead sinner to life, to bring that sinner to a place of repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus. In other words, He regenerates the sinner and we see the evidence of that in that person’s faith.
It takes the combined “effort” of the Trinity, if I can put it like that, for a sinner to be saved. If that sinner can “lose” or just throw away that salvation, then all that is in vain. It didn’t work. God’s not going to go through all that again just so someone can be “saved again.” He’s not going to put His Son through the agony of the Cross a second time. It didn’t “work” the first time. Why would it be any more effective a second time?
Do you REALLY want your salvation to depend on YOUR faithfulness?
‘Cause if you lose it – you can’t get it back.
Do you really want to go there?